The calendar is once again out of sync with nature’s yearly cycles. Sure, shorebirds are largely summer migrants in the Northern Hemisphere. But today arokund McMinnville I was seeing flocks of Barn and Tree Swallows (not mixed together) hawking insects and presumably working their way south. Tree Swallows normally hunt higher in the air than Barn Swallows who are comfortable cruising just above the grass or crop top.
A drizzle Thursday, then an intense though brief real rain last night…maybe more to come. Wind today as well. Maybe a few more feet of wet shoreline for the migrating shorebirds who;ve had a hard time finding habitat this year. Wetlands are direly shrunken hereabouts.
I was in Rotary Park again mid-morning. I missed the dawn because I had too many errands to get done. So the day had settled into the expected late summer quietude. A few raucous warning shots from the local Steller’s Jays. Half a whinny from some treetop Robin. The Chestnut-backed Chickadees and an inkling of Bushtits coursed through the trees, soundless. The only sound from two different Anna’s Hummingbirds was a little wing buzzing during acceleration…their version of laying rubber in a hotrod. First a few honks from a White-breasted Nuthatch with long rests in between; then a far-off set of triplets from a Red-breasted version. Some ill-tempered-sounding snarls from a Spotted Towhee–heard but not seen. A female Flicker gave me a looking over and few sharp “clear” calls. Her drumming was very soft, for food not territorial messaging. Then a series of rough-edged downward slurring calls, each the same. Memorable only because the series ran past a dozen individual calls. Then I saw the bird, a juvenile Hutton’s Vireo. Saddled with the usual competitive handicaps of vireos in a warbler’s world, none of the vireos are wildly successful like the Robin or Mourning Dove. While the Red-eyed at least is widespread in American forests, the Hutton’s is confined to only low elevation woods of a certain type in the west. Badly beset by invasive cowbirds the Hutton’s Vireo is nowhere abundant and has disappeared from parts of its former range. At least this youngster does not have to migrate this fall as do most other vireo species. And his monotonous call is a enlightening field trait, alerting a birder to watch for motion in the trees.
McMinnville Rotary Park (Tice Park), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Aug 26, 2015 9:45 AM – 10:20 AM. 10 species
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Hutton’s Vireo (Vireo huttoni) 1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens) 4
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) 1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 1
There’s an opsrey essay, hence ossay, in today’s Times. Click here for an enjoyable read, and reminder that some government regulations are needed to keep our fellow man from totally trashing this planet.
So when are we gonna ban all forms of D-Con, the great predator killer?
Willamette Valley native and ace birder,, Noah Strycker, now has nearly 4000 species seen this year…his global goal is to see at least 5000 species…that’s over half of all known species on the planet. Most birders do not see that many species in a lifetime.
That’s a really BIG Big Year. It’ll be a great book and could be a beautiful movie…
UPDATE: August 26 another hiker told me she’d just seen the young, white fawn. Here’s an email from Rick Hargrave of the Oregon DFW: “Thank you for sharing the photos of the deer. The fawn is referred to as a piebald fawn. It looks pretty healthy, which is good because typically piebald fawns are born with a number of deformities. I hope they continue on their way into the wild!” The woods were quiet this morning as I listened carefully for any bird sound. Ahead of me a sudden flash of white got my attention. I quickly stepped behind a tree where my shape wouldn’t show. Coming toward me the doe approached in the lead, followed by her nearly-all-white fawn. A pair of hikers a few days had told they’d seen a white fawn in this woodland.
Later I circled back around and watched the pair head down the trail away from me. I will share the location if you want photos. Don’t invite any bow-toting dentists from Minnesota, please. I see beauty while some men will see “trophy.”
Earlier this week I got to do some birding along the Oregon coast west of Salem. A gallery of coastal images: Barn above. Barn Swallows below, this at the mouth of the Salmon River north of Lincoln City. Cedar Waxwings at Van Duzer State Rec Area in Coastal Range along Hwy 22 east of Lincoln City. Below Dead Common Murre on beach. Elk along Hwy 22. Western Gull. Glaucous-winged Gull in area, no black wing tips. Kingfisher over Siletz Bay. Osprey over Devil;s Lake Gulls at mouth of D River: California left, Western right. Red-throated Loon at Gleneden Beach. Young gull, possibly a Thayer’s.
Posted in birding, birds, mammals, migratory birds, natural history, ocean birds, oregon, raptor | Tags: Barn Swallow, California Gull, Cedar Waxwing, D River, Devil's Lake, elk, Glaucous-winged Gull., Gleneden Beach, Kingfisher, Lincoln City, Osprey, Pacific, Siletz Bay, Western Gull
Real, furred wolves have been confirmed to be living in Siskiyou County, not far from where OR7 and his wolf clan are known to be successfully breeding in Oregon’s Jackson County. Here’s story about California’s first confirmed wild wolf pack since 1924!
The wolf is on the endangered species list in California and thus cannot be shot or trapped.
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